September 17, 2011

Interview with SSRIs

Vancouver noise pop band, SSRIs, are currently on the road, touring accross the nation with their last album, "Effeminate Godzilla-sized Wind Chimes. " In the midst of their busy tour, they answered questions for Music Psychos!!!

1. If you describe SSRIs in one word, what's the word would be? and Why?

Kevin: "And." Because it's kind of confusing when taken out of context - Our music draws on a lot of disparate sources and recontextualizes those elements into something that ends up being confusing at times.

2. What does the band name mean?

Elliot: It stands for Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors. It's a kind of anti-depressant drug. !

3. It's been a while for you guys to tour as SSRIs this year. What are  the pros and cons to participate in several projects aside from SSRIs?

Elliot: A big benefit is that we get to play shows and meet people we wouldn't otherwise through SSRIs. I toured a bunch of the year with The Rebel Spell and got to play a bunch of new venues and meet a bunch of new people that made it a lot easier to book this tour for SSRIs. Another benefit is that we get to play music outside of the sort of thing SSRIs does. The main con is that it makes it harder to get together to practice. We are all active as freelance musicians which means we're all always pretty busy and always pretty broke!

Jo: Playing in other projects I think also helps contextualize our focus for the writing in SSRIs. It forces us to think specifically about our sound and what we are going for and also how that relates to our other bands. I don't think a single one of our projects is the same, though I suppose there are probably some similarities. 

4. Tell us about your new drummer, Kevin Romain!

Elliot: Kevin spent a lot of the last year touring with CR Avery, he also plays in Bleating Hearts, We Just Stole a Car and a bunch of other projects. He's a real jazz nut, so his approach is pretty different from our previous drummer, Tony's. He's been one of our best friends for a while, so it's really nice having him in the band!

5. It's been a year since SSRIs released the latest  album, "Effeminate Godzilla-sized Wind Chimes. " Are the new materials in line with the previous album. Which direction do you think you guys are  heading to?

Elliot: Hard to say exactly what the new stuff will sound like, but I am always interested in pushing our extremes of being poppy at times and noisy at other times. We're interested in experimenting with rhythms outside of typical rock rhythms, and I think we might do more vocal harmonies than in the past. When we get back to Vancouver, our main priority is going to be writing new material.

Kevin: Early in this tour I invented a new tradition called "Rock feel free Wednesdays" on which we're not allowed to listen to any music based around back beats or other typical rock cliches. It was mostly a joke at the time, but I do think it's unfortunate that so much new music which is really pushing boundaries on certain fronts (aesthetically, compositionally, politically) still relies on rhythmic hierarchies that are hyper-referential to past musical movements, and that have really been exhausted in a lot of ways. I'm hoping to spend time exploring some different ideas in this area on the new record (free time, polyrhythmic concepts, improvised structures etc).

6. You guys are in 2-3 weeks of  a month-long national tour from Vancouver to Montreal. Any interesting stories that you wanna share with us on the road?

Kevin: When we were driving through interior BC we stopped to help some folks whose horse trailer had burst into flames! There were kids and horses and fire flying all around at the side of the highway. It turned out okay in the end but it was pretty scary in a cinematic kind of way. Also we adopted a baby wolf pup who has been on tour with us for the last couple weeks.

7. Toronto show on September 18th at Parts + Labour.-What can we expect from it? 

Elliot: We will play our songs, so if people want to get excited for the show, they should check out our songs online, because shows are more fun when you've heard the songs a bit before the show: . Also, I've heard that The Bulletproof Tiger are insane live, so we're really stoked to see them.

SSRIs are performing on September 18th at Parts +Labour.  This highly anticipated show is something that you don't want to miss. Be there!!! The below video is "Row" which was shooted by Tasty Ears On Location.

Thank you so much SSRIs for taking the time to answer the questions! I will beattending to the show tomorrow for a show review! Stay tuned.

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